Working Out with Wonderbutt
You’re not supposed to play tug-of-war with your dog. Don’t ask me why. I heard someone say it once – probably the Dog Whisperer. Or maybe it was a nun. They tend to give frequent mandates on avoiding any type of fun.
Other than snoring and farting, tug-of-war is the only thing Wonderbutt loves to do for an extended period of time. Since he needs to lose 1/3 of his body weight just to be considered “slightly rotund,” I feel like the least we can do is let him spend twenty minutes a day on his favorite form of exercise.
Lately, Wonderbutt has begun to confuse my exercise time with his exercise time. Now, as soon as I am five minutes into doing Tae Bo, Wonderbutt wakes up from a heavy snore, and races into the bedroom, completely ready to exercise too. His way of communicating that he is eager for action is to try to hump my leg as soon as I fling it out for a Tae Bo side-kick. When I finally shake him off, he looks momentarily confused, then leaps onto his rope toy and pitches it into my face just in case I have any doubts as to his intentions. (Which I kind of do, since he was just trying to hump me.)
Wonderbutt is not a fetch dog. He wants to be chased, and if you don’t feel like playing that game, then he wants nothing to do with you; he will forlornly drag his rope toy back to his bed, and put his head on his paws, sighing in disappointment at your laziness. Or, you can get down on the floor and start growling at him. Then he is more than happy to prance over to you with his toy, dangling it in your face, leaping backwards every time you reach for the rope, and growling viciously. So, by now, you’ve broken about 100 Dog Whisperer rules, including putting yourself on the same level as the dog, sticking your face in his, and encouraging him to growl at you.
But the dog is exercising.
For the most part.
The only part of Wonderbutt’s body that never gets fatigued is his jaw. After about three minutes of tug-of-war, the rest of his body gives out. Then, he clamps down on that rope for dear life while I drag him throughout the house, which is a bit rough on the carpeting, but works quite well on the concrete floors in the living room. (I am seriously considering attaching Swiffer Dusters to his sides.)
After being dragged for a couple of minutes, Wonderbutt gets his second wind (after releasing four or five of his own), and leaps back to his feet to resume play.
I started to complain about Wonderbutt regularly interrupting my Tae Bo – until I realized that I couldn’t catch my breath the last time I played tug-of-war with him.
I thought I was doing him a favor, but wouldn’t it be funny if he thinks he’s the one helping me out?